Holyoke police recover assault rifle, arrest Springfield man on gun charges

  • Leonard Jackson, 25, of Springfield. SUBMITTED PHOTO/HOLYOKE POLICE DEPARTMENT


Staff Writer
Published: 6/16/2020 5:21:08 PM

HOLYOKE — City police are investigating a shooting in the downtown area Monday night that led to the recovery of an AK-47 style assault rifle and the arrest of a Springfield man on gun charges.

Leonard Jackson, 25, was charged with possession of ammunition without an FID card, possession of a large capacity firearm, discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a building, carrying a loaded firearm without a license, improper storage of a firearm and two counts of wanton and malicious destruction of property, according to Holyoke Police Lt. James Albert. He was booked and transported to the Hampden County Jail in Ludlow where he is awaiting arraignment.

Albert said that police began receiving phone calls at 8:30 p.m. reporting shots fired in the area of 253 Essex St., a multi-unit apartment building, as well as a possible chase between two cars. Other callers described the two cars as “pursuing each other,” Albert said, with possibly additional gunshots fired between them. Albert declined to say if police believed the two cars were exchanging gunfire with one another.

Officers located an unoccupied but still running black BMW in the driveway at 298 Race St. that had bullet holes, Albert said. Two male suspects took off from the BMW, Albert said, adding that a police dog tracked the suspects to the area of North East Street but did not manage to locate them.

Other officers found a white Volkswagen on South Street near Main Street that was unoccupied, Albert said. Officers checked the area and found Jackson walking away from the Volkswagen, which was later discovered to be registered to him, with the keys in his pocket. 

Behind 253 Essex St., detectives found another car with gunshot damages, several spent 7.62 mm shell casings and other items, Albert said. No gunshot victim has come forward as of Tuesday afternoon, Albert said.

“Several residents were present and described a wild scene as gunshots were fired and a black MV fled that area with two other subjects following it,” Albert said.

Officers located evidence such as an AK-47 assault style rifle with a 30 round magazine, 7.62 mm live ammunition as well as shells of the same caliber, according to Albert, who added police found the gun and ammo near Jackson and have probable cause to charge him criminally for it.

Albert said Holyoke police was assisted by a variety of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. The incident remains under investigation.

Michael Connors can be reached at mconnors@gazettenet.com. 

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